Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
23 Oct 2018
9:25 am

Sharks ‘know what it takes to be champions’

Ken Borland

The Durbanites' high-profile defence guru, Englishman Nick Easter, has big words for his side ... even though they haven't won a trophy since 2013.

Nick Easter (Assistant Coach) of the Cell C Sharks during the Cell C Sharks XV training session at Jonsson Kings Park on October 16, 2018 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Whenever a coach mentions being process-driven and not focusing on outcomes, those coaches who have been axed purely on the basis of poor results will smile wryly.

With the Currie Cup final against Western Province lying ahead at Newlands this weekend, Sharks defence consultant Nick Easter was honest enough to admit that whatever is said, it all boils down to results in the end.

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Fortunately for the Sharks, they get the chance to use their 50-28 hammering the last time they met Western Province in Cape Town, three weeks ago, to their advantage.

“After that wake-up call we now have a lot more clarity on what it will take to become champions. They punished our turnover rate and any flaws in our system. They always say you learn more from defeat, even though everybody talks about not being outcomes-driven, it always ends up like that. Both teams will be better for coming through tough semifinals.

“We know what a quality side Western Province are, how lethal they are, so we’ve got to be well-prepared and focused for the whole 80 minutes. We’re getting more consistency now. It’s now down much more to the mental side,” Easter, who played 54 Tests for England, said.

The former loose forward said the way the Sharks managed to edge out the Golden Lions in the last 10 minutes of their semi-final was one of the main positives ahead of the final.

“It was a great workout for us, although we should have been far clear but we were forced into mistakes. But we showed great resilience to close out the game well. Against a side like Western Province, who put another 35 points on the Blue Bulls, we have to execute and take our chances.

“But we also have to keep them out. We have to make sure the boys have enough fuel in the tank because we did not turn up down there the last time,” Easter said.

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